Ritzy union demands meeting as third cinema joins living wage campaign

Ritzy Strikers on Halloween
Ritzy Strikers mark Halloween. Photo David Wilcock

Bectu, the union representing Ritzy cinema staff taking action to be paid the London Living Wage of £9.75 an hour, is urging senior management at Picturehouse Cinemas to meet it at the official conciliation service, ACAS.

The union said senior managers at Picturehouse, which owns the Ritzy, were continuing to alienate their staff “with the latest affront coming with the rejection of a living wage pay claim at Picturehouse Central in the heart of London”.

Willy Donaghy, BECTU supervisory official, has written to Debbie Cairns, acting head of people and planning at Picturehouse Central, saying that three London Picturehouse cinemas – Central, Ritzy and Hackney – have now refused to pay the London Living Wage.

“You will be aware that our BECTU membership is steadily growing in Picturehouse cinemas throughout the UK and therefore further such claims will be made over the coming months,” he said.

“This will happen against a background of ongoing industrial action caused by the company’s refusal to negotiate or conciliate.

“I therefore formally invite you to attend the conciliation services of ACAS in an effort to resolve the current disputes and prevent more disputes in the future. I look forward to your response by midday on Monday 5 December.”

BECTU officials last week lobbied Brixton Labour MP and former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.